Fire Causes

  • Thread starter Tasty Buds
  • Start date
  • Tagged users None
Tasty Buds

Tasty Buds

1,653
263
I've heard of homes burning down, and all. In all my time in Col, I've yet to see a house on fire that I can remember.
That being said, Has anyone ever had a fire, or know someone who had?
If so, I'd imagine faulty wire was the cause.
Do ya think it was someone who tried to run 3k on a 20 amp at 110v? The thing is.... isn't there a protector that would pop the fuse in the breaker box?
Or wiring from the ballest, faulty? If it is caused by the ballast, are there any brands known for it?
 
Ceveres

Ceveres

453
143
I know a guy who had prob 8-10 1000W hps all 110v vertically hung in a tiny low ceiling basement and running A.C., a TON of fans etc.. His house burnt DOWN. My guess it was from amature wiring done by his buddy. I don't think the house had even 100amp service. Not sure what size breaker(s) but prob just 1 lol. Never though about poor mounting and a light smashing down though, good possibility. He was lucky to get out of there, he was sleeping at the time.
 
Phylex

Phylex

621
263
The most common causes I've seen is the tampering with electrical boxes, and bypassing them in an attempt to steal the power. As stated above, I have seen another situation where the light fell, eventually it burned through the floor, and set the house on fire. Breakers are meant to trip, but cannot be relied upon as a failsafe. Sometimes they don't trip like previously stated. The safest bet is not overloading the circuit and having quality electrical work.
 
Freshone

Freshone

1,620
263
My friend had such a situation, but luckily, he had insured his house some years ago, so they paid for everything, for repairs and others things.
Insurance companies dont pay out for anything to do with growing or any other similar activity unless they dont know about it but if your house burns down they are probably going to know,read ANY policy.
My son is a battallion chief with a fire department in so cal and they roll on grow fires almost daily,mostly from overloaded circuits but their are many reasons that can cause a grow fire,be safe!
 
London bud

London bud

559
143
This is my worse nightmare, a fire starting while I'm not home and the fire brigade being called to put it out, discovering it was caused by a grow. Definitely even those of us with the smallest set up need to be aware and make sure we got our shit setup right. I've never seen it but it's something that could potentially hit any of us on here
 
the rrock

the rrock

1,345
163
The problem with circuit breakers is corrosion. They need to be flipped on and off once in a while (annually) or they can get stuck.
Ive had a breaker box catch fire because of a stuck breaker,and havehad a few melted plugs and receptacles before I knew what I was doing,just lucky I was home when breaker caught fire or I woulda lost my house(keep a fire extinguisher around even if you dont think you need it)
 
420Andrew

420Andrew

47
18
I'm not even religious but thank. god. i got off work early today, felt a strong scent of smoke as i approached my grow to check on the ladies. Learn from my stupid ass mistake, keep your lights as secured as you possibly can. Had a 60w LED fall because a loose screw.

IMG 20200124 154342

here's how deep it charred through

Fortunately I had treated the material with some fire-retardant before the grow so all wasn't lost but this could definetly have ended a lot worse. The plant itself lost a few leaves but should recover just fine. Safe growing everyone!
 
BigCube

BigCube

2,676
263
I've heard of homes burning down, and all. In all my time in Col, I've yet to see a house on fire that I can remember.
That being said, Has anyone ever had a fire, or know someone who had?
If so, I'd imagine faulty wire was the cause.
Do ya think it was someone who tried to run 3k on a 20 amp at 110v? The thing is.... isn't there a protector that would pop the fuse in the breaker box?
Or wiring from the ballest, faulty? If it is caused by the ballast, are there any brands known for it?

There is a breaker (or there should be one at least legally) at the box. Most people going that high yard out the 10 or 15 amp breaker and toss in a 30 amp breaker.

That being said, the fire doesn't happen at the breaker, it happens after the breaker. If you're running 3kw on one breaker you have to have a 30 amp breaker otherwise you wouldn't be able to run the 3kw.

A fire can start, break out and spread well before a 30 amp breaker trips. Most fires are from faulty wiring. Old wiring insufficient to supply 3kw without turning in to a heater, or just shotty wiring all together.

Rarely the light fixture itself fucks up some how, but this is rare. More common on HID but still very rare.

If you must run 3kw from one breaker, it would be best to do it on 220 not 110. This lowers the amperage running through the wire. Also maybe just run newer wires rated for the load just to make sure.

Most fires that start this way are in old houses where the wiring is questionable.

There are places online gou can talk to an actuall electrician that could tell you more. I suggest figuring it out before risking it 🤣
 
Anthem

Anthem

4,045
263
A fire started by electrical malfunction is not possible if the system has been correctly installed. If you throw in a 30 amp breaker where there was a 15 amp breaker, well that is just being stupid and asking for a fire. With the 30 amp breaker the gauge of the wire going from the breaker to the outlet would need to be upgraded. Secondly, when you are calculating out the amps required to run never design for 100 percent of the circuit load. Rule of thumb in electrical is 80 percent of the circuit design load. Meaning if you have a 20 amp circuit do not run more than 16 amps thru the circuit. If you go over the 80percent by much the breaker will get hot and trip at some point.
Jacking power is not a good idea. That will get you in trouble with the company providing power and they will contact the authorities if you get caught. Secondly, they will prosecute and seek to recover damages. For me the cost of electricity is not worth the risk. I guess that is why I run all LED's.
 
Jimster

Jimster

Supporter
2,773
263
I have found most heat issues occur at junctions, or connections. Wire nuts are easy to use but can provide a lousy connection that could heat up under higher loads. Higher resistance usually means higher temperatures. Running 220 on the circuit will reduce the load by half as well. With HID lighting, check the bulb's connection periodically as it can work itself loose over time and cause excess heat at the screw in connector... ceramic is highly recommended for HID lighting. Make sure that the power supply wires aren't getting burnt or hot. A general overall inspection should be enough to prevent most fires, but trying to run too many lights with too small of a wire gauge or too small of a breaker is an invitation to disaster. Try to keep the areas around your ballasts clean and clear from any combustibles, such as paper, chemicals, and old leaves. LEDs draw a lot less total power, but the lower voltages make it necessary to run higher current (Amperage) and it is mostly the current that causes heat issues, so keep on top of LED power circuits as well. The drivers can overheat and cause problems.
 
Deadstill

Deadstill

Supporter
1,142
263
This is my worse nightmare, a fire starting while I'm not home and the fire brigade being called to put it out, discovering it was caused by a grow. Definitely even those of us with the smallest set up need to be aware and make sure we got our shit setup right. I've never seen it but it's something that could potentially hit any of us on here

This is why my ranch is never left unattended not even for a minute. There's a lot of things that can start a fire especially in this business.

We had a wild fire brush up within 100 yards of our ranch a couple years ago. That one burned 64,000 square acres here in CO. So aside from natural or outside causes there's a lot of things to look out for.

I have built and consulted for grow builds for years. For my own grows I usually run fresh circuit breakers, new wires and new outlets for all of my equipment. This way I know I don't have to worry about bad wires or bad wiring jobs.

As far as circuit breakers being the save-all if something goes wrong, you cannot rely on those alone. Like some said above, especially if you're using more than 15a breakers..

Here's a fire I prevented just last summer. For those of you who use these style timers -
20200124 074852
20200124 074832


Notice this one actually says not to use with digital ballasts. Most of them don't have this warning. These are pretty easy to overload if you're not careful.

Another measure I take is to put a layer of aluminum foil between all my big 1000w lights and the ceiling.

Also a layer of aluminum foil above my CO2 burner, anything that puts out significant amounts of heat that's near anything even slightly flammable gets covered with layers of foil.

All extension cords (I avoid these like the plague but sometimes you have no choice) I follow similar procedures as when I was a mechanic working in auto repair shops. If the cords have to be unplugged frequently I will tie two knots in each end and to each other so the plugs don't come apart easily. Otherwise if they are more permanent I will secure the ends together with knots and electrical tape.

I run a lot of hydroponics sites in which case I take extra precautions to make sure no electrical cords are on the floors, all ballasts, power strips, everything off the floor.

I use old milk crates to keep ballasts off the floor if they can't be hung from the ceiling or something.

Another thing some people don't think about is foliar feeding/spraying your plants with MH or HPS bulbs above your head. Be VERY careful not to hit these bulbs with any spray you are using. I have had to fire guys for this. One guy sprayed and got a nice shower of MH bulb guts all over himself and killed 2 plants when a MH bulb exploded over his head because he got it wet from overspray. The dust from the bulb literally killed the 2 plants that were under it in less than 24 hours after it happened. It was just like someone sprayed roundup on them. So I could just imagine what that stuff does to your body.

I've seen MH and HPS bulbs explode from having oily residue on them, as well, so it's a good idea to clean them off frequently especially if you run open hoods.

That's most all that I can think of for fire safety. The rest is (un)common sense I would say.

A good CO2 fire extinguisher near by may save your life some day. Expensive but won't ruin your equipment if you actually have to use it.
 
Dirtbag

Dirtbag

Supporter
9,131
313
Overloaded circuits with undersized wire is probably the number 1 cause. Cheap timers maxed out is another. For God sakes, if you cant wire it properly find someone who can. HID or any high wattage lighting, or dehumidifiers, Ac etc should be controlled by an intermatic T100 series type mechanical timer.

I'd say peoples ignorance toward electrical loads and how to properly manage them is the number 1 cause overall. Poorly restrained lighting is probably the Number 2 cause.
 
HeLLfiReZ

HeLLfiReZ

267
93
Overloaded circuits with undersized wire is probably the number 1 cause. Cheap timers maxed out is another. For God sakes, if you cant wire it properly find someone who can. HID or any high wattage lighting, or dehumidifiers, Ac etc should be controlled by an intermatic T100 series type mechanical timer.

I'd say peoples ignorance toward electrical loads and how to properly manage them is the number 1 cause overall. Poorly restrained lighting is probably the Number 2 cause.
Yes this, intermec timers, right guage wire. Those cheap plug in timers are a fire hazard imo. Ive seen more than a few melt.

Know your loads, check wires feel them if they are warm its to much. I like to run a 240 line from the breaker panel to a sub panel then split it off from there. That gives you double breaker.

And for your sake, please take the time to ground everything properly.
 
Dirtbag

Dirtbag

Supporter
9,131
313
Yes this, intermec timers, right guage wire. Those cheap plug in timers are a fire hazard imo. Ive seen more than a few melt.

Know your loads, check wires feel them if they are warm its to much. I like to run a 240 line from the breaker panel to a sub panel then split it off from there. That gives you double breaker.

And for your sake, please take the time to ground everything properly.

I went 240 to my Sub panel too. Since it was built ground up each appliance has it's own dedicated circuit, and no circuit exceeds 2/3 capacity. 14 gauge wire for the 15 Amp circuits and 12 gauge for the 20 Amp circuits. All high load items like Lights, Ac, and dehu are controlled with intermatics, and I use the titan control timers for low draw things like irrigation pumps, T5 fluorescents and thing like that. Nothing runs off an extension cord except my sulphur burner which I operate manually. It's not on a timer.
 

Latest posts

Top Bottom